How to spot a drunk driver

Drunk driving is a far too common occurrence. There is nothing wrong, and for some, nothing better than a refreshing cocktail, beer or glass of wine or two after work or to celebrate a special occasion. There is something wrong with getting behind the wheel if you’ve had too many, which only means a few. 

On average, it takes a woman three drinks and men four within an hour to reach a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8%. Realize the rate of intoxication can differ based on your age, height, weight, muscle-to-fat ratio, ethnic status, your body’s hydration level, and the amounts of other elements in your system.

For some, one drink is too many if they have to drive. For others, it’s more of a sliding scale. The fact of the matter is that drunk driving caused nearly 10,000 traffic fatalities in 2017.

So, how can you spot a drunk driver? Knowing the signs can help you avoid them and alert the proper authorities. To identify a driver under the influence, look for the following signs:

  • Abrupt acceleration, deceleration or braking
  • Weaving or drifting in and out of traffic lanes
  • Nearly driving into another vehicle, curb, sign or another object
  • Signaling that doesn’t match their driving actions
  • Slow reactions to traffic occurrences
  • Driving in the middle of the road
  • (At night) driving without headlights turned on
  • Driving very slowly (usually up to 10 mph below the speed limit)
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Abrupt or illegal turns

Now, many of these actions can occur when a driver is under the influence of alcohol as the driver could be dozing off, driving aggressively, or driving distracted. If you notice a driver’s actions meet many of the above identifiers, there is a healthy chance that the driver may be impaired.